African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 957

Full Length Research Paper

The roles of community-based water and sanitation management teams (WSMTs) for sustainable development: An example of the Bawku West District, Ghana

Samuel Kojo Abanyie
  • Samuel Kojo Abanyie
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
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Boateng Ampadu
  • Boateng Ampadu
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
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Zango Musah Saeed
  • Zango Musah Saeed
  • Department of Earth Science, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
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Ebenezer Ebo Yahans Amuah
  • Ebenezer Ebo Yahans Amuah
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
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Nang Biyogue Douti
  • Nang Biyogue Douti
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
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George Owusu
  • George Owusu
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
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  •  Received: 27 May 2019
  •  Accepted: 29 July 2019
  •  Published: 30 November 2019

Abstract

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene are related to several and severe negative implications on health and the environment. In recent years, community-based management of water and sanitation facilities have been linked to improving access to these facilities. Ghana is also on its way to achieving the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) for access to potable water. However, several studies have found gaps between increased access to water and sanitation in Ghana and have shown that more than a third of the water supply facilities breakdown within the first year of their inauguration. Despite these problems, Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs) have contributed immensely to the attainment of the SDGs. This study assessed the roles of fifteen communities in maintaining the momentum towards the SDGs. The study revealed that twelve communities (80%) out of fifteen have WSMTs in place. All the communities have water facilities but only four (27%) have access to toilet facilities and the WSMTs working effectively to provide good services to their community members. The existence and effectiveness of WSMTs aided in providing reliable water supply, periodic maintenance of Water Supply Systems (WSSs), less breakdown of WSSs, timely releasing of funds, effective monitoring and quick responses in repairing broken down facilities. However, these WSMTs faced challenges such as the inability to generate funds for the rehabilitation of WSSs, team members lacked skills in water and sanitation management, poor record-keeping and cooperation among the committee and community members in the delivery of their services. It is recommended that WSMTs should be given managerial and maintenance training on WASH projects before they are handed over to them, and community members should be encouraged to cooperate with the WSMTs.

 

Key words: Community-based, water, sanitation, management, teams, sustainable, development.